Any lung condition can be complex, and it can be difficult to know where to find help. Fortunately, Renown offers a wide range of education and support groups for those needing support for a chronic lung condition. Aubree Carlson, a nurse specialist with Renown Pulmonary Rehabilitation, offers insight.
What kind of education and support groups are offered at Renown Pulmonary Rehabilitation for those with a chronic lung condition?
Education topics include:
- Proper nutrition
- Detailed breathing retraining
- Infection prevention and bronchial hygiene
- Stress management and panic control
- Oxygen and equipment use
- Respiratory medications
- Energy-conservation techniques
- Day-to-day activities
- Ask the Doctor session with board-certified pulmonologist
Support Groups include:
- Pursed LIPS (PALS) Support Group – A support group for those with a chronic lung condition and for those who have quit smoking.
- IPF and Lung Transplant Support Group – Our IPF/Lung Transplant support group discusses living with IPF, and participants can meet with others who have received a lung transplant or are pursuing lung transplant.
How are these groups beneficial?
Educational sessions will help you better understand the complexities of your lung condition. Family members and caretakers are always invited to attend classroom sessions. Support groups bring people together who are going through similar experiences. A support group provides a place for people to share experiences and feelings, coping strategies, or information about diseases or treatments.
Benefits of participating in a support group may include:
- Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
- Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue
- Staying motivated to manage chronic conditions or stick to treatment plans
- Gaining a sense of empowerment, control or hope
- Improving understanding of a disease and your own experience with it
What are some suggestions people can do at home to improve their pulmonary health?
There are several things you can do to keep your lungs healthy.
- Don’t smoke – Cigarette smoking is a major cause of lung cancer and COPD.
- Avoid exposure to pollutants – Secondhand smoke, outdoor air pollution and certain chemicals can all cause or worsen lung disease. Test your home for things like radon, and don’t exercise outdoors on bad air days.
- Prevent infection – Wash your hands, avoid crowds during cold and flu season, and get vaccinated. And if you get sick, stay home.
- Exercise – The most essential component of lung health is breaking the cycle of inactivity associated with lung disease. Aerobic exercise helps improve your lung capacity.
- Get regular checkups – Even if you’re feeling well, it’s important to have regular checkups with your care provider. Regular checkups help prevent diseases, which is especially important for lung disease. Keep in mind that a lung condition can sometimes go undetected until it’s serious.